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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 19, 2014 4:30am-6:31am EDT

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and managed to connect them. owe is a wide range and we some things to the panel. these join me. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
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>> german soldiers would be really reassuring. the initial response "newsmakers" said valenti, former governor of minnesota, will talk about key issues affecting the winking industries -- the banking industries. -- the amount of capital big banks should have on hand. "newsmakers", sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. on tuesday, president obama begins a trip to asia with stops in japan, south korea, malaysia,
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and the philippines. at the white house briefing, susan rice briefed reporters on the trip and took questions on ukraine. this is about 25 minutes. >> thank you. good afternoon. the president's trip to asia is an important opportunity to -- presidente obama is rebalancing. nearlye next five years, half of all growth outside of the united states is expected to come from asia. a region that includes several important u.s. allies, developing democracies, and emerging powers. we increasingly see our top priorities tied to asia with access to new markets or promoting exports or protecting our security interests and our
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core values. the countries we are visiting -- japan, korea, malaysia, and the philippines intersects with our leading priorities. these are modernizing our alliances, promoting democratic increasing, commercial ties, investing in institutions, and deepening people to people exchanges. -- unlike many of the presidents overseas trips, there are no large summits involved. the agenda in each country cap focus intensively on energizing our bilateral relationship and inventing the different elements of our asian strategy. at a time of ongoing regional tensions particularly with regard to north korea and territorial disputes, the trip offers the chance for the united states to affirm our commitment to rules-based order.
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there is a significant demand for united states leadership and our strategy of rebalancing to asia includes economic, political, security and cultural interest in north east and south east asia. the different components of our strategy would be on display throughout the trip. thanher nation other united states has a network of alliances and partnerships in asia that match ours. our alliances remain the foundation of our strategy. we are focused on modernizing these alliances to make the more relevant to the 21st century and to our security challenges while building them into platforms for cooperation original and global challenges. given its rapid economic growth and political clout, south east asia has been another cornerstone of our strategy and the president's visit to malaysia has been said to be the first since lyndon b. johnson as
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was to the philippines would advance our engagement with this critical region. expanded american investment links to asia is also fundamental to our efforts to access new markets, create american jobs, export more goods from here and if united states to that very important region. throughout the true, the president will have the opportunity to meet with business leaders and promote initiatives like select usa that support investment in a united states. is a focal point to establish high standards for trade across the asia-pacific and to ensure a level playing field for u.s. businesses and workers. in visiting japan and malaysia, partners, the president will have the chance to continue to make progress on this up port and -- important
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agreement to make sure it meets america's objectives. the president will bring affirm our commitment to our allies and partners which allow us to deter threats and respond to disasters . on the trip, the president will build on the progress of the recent trilateral meetings with japan and korea as we seek to morece cooperation broadly. it will allow us to reaffirm the peaceful resolution of maritime and territorial disputes the system with international law. and it will allow us to underscore commitment to helping respond to humanitarian and other disasters. our asian partners frequently look to the united states as a partner of first choice given our significant and unique capabilities and our technical expertise and in each of the countries we would be visiting, we have seen and the last few years, tragedies of the sort that have been exceedingly taxing and traumatic for people
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in each instance the united states has been able to lend prop a very effective support to our friends and partners in support of their response. we have demonstrated throughout whether from the japan earthquake in 2011 to the 2013 typhoon in the philippines and tragedyn air flight 370 disaster inferry south korea, we are therefore our friends when they need us most. ben and i are happy to take questions. >> heading to asian against the backdrop in the situation in the ukraine. your sense of house prices in -- your sense of how the crisis is impacting -- [indiscernible] if you could give us a sense of the status of the agreement of russia and given the pro-russian
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forces, they have no plans to leave? have been in close communication as you can imagine with our allies and partners around the world include in asia as it relates to what is happening in the ukraine. we have been talking with them about the importance of strong, international front to uphold principles that we all hold dear. the sovereignty and integrity of nations. the need for peaceful resolution of disputes. we will continue to have that discussion throughout each of the stops on our trip. i think it is fair to say that japan and south korea are major have hadonomies and we to reassess the implications of what has transpired in ukraine further economic and diplomatic relationships in particular with russia and we have coordinated closely with japan and the g7
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context on our shared responses to what has happened in the ukraine and we will continue to do so. the countries of the region clearly are watching this carefully at our cognitive of the implications of the larger international order given in the importance of the unity of the international community and assist in the ukraine's sovereignty be upheld and maintained in the global condemnation of russia's annexation of crimea and efforts to destabilize ukraine. these are countries part of the united nations a you will have seen a couple of weeks ago when the general assembly, an overwhelming vote of condemnation of russia's actions. to al share a commitment rule-based order. with respect to what transpired in the agreement yesterday in a geneva, which as you know committed all the signatories in
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particular russia and ukraine to forces thategular are engaged in destabilizing activities to require that those forces vacate the buildings and public spots that today are occupying illegally in their be an amnesty granted -- granted that lay down their arms willingly and peacefully. and there be a constitutional process which is ukraine's on process toown resolve the issues which are so critical to ukraine's future. we expect and we will be watching whether russia does or does not uphold its responsibility to use is very considerable influence to restrain and withdraw those
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thegular militia from buildings and spaces they have occupied. we will look to see what russia says and does and whether it supports another critical aspect of the agreement which was the agreement that the ose will send in the monitors to those towns where they are most needed to help facilitate a peaceful resolution of the standoffs. we will see over the coming days whether russia uphold its agreements. we have seen ukrainian government began to take steps to do its part by beginning to take steps to implement an amnesty law for those who lay down their arms. the president and prime minister making constructive public comments about constitutional reform and decentralization. if we do not see action commensurate with a commitment that russia has made yesterday in a geneva which we all
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welcome, obviously, we have been clear that we and our european partners remain ready to put additional cost on russia for failing to adhere to its obligations. carry andry and others have -- secretary kerry and others have given a deadline? directetary kerry had talks with sergey lavrov and with the contralateral meeting making clear the expectations and we will be looking to see in the coming days whether the agreement that was reached is in fact implemented. it will be obvious as events unfold. think thehow do you situation in ukraine, the conversations you had with korea and japan about identification -- [indiscernible]
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eventually brought up about disputes over territory in the region and what are you trying to accomplish on the question of the idea? we expect the issue of territorial claims and disputes in the region will come up in our discussion in both countries. the united states' position has been consistent and clear and we do not take a position on the sovereignty but we have insisted that they be result peacefully on the basis of international law and without resort to coercion or the threat of the use of force. that has been consistent and that is indeed the same principle that we have applied to the situation any ukraine. i expect what we are talking about other aspects of the maritime and other territorial claims that we will continue to reinforce the american perspective. it seems as though earlier in
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the week administration officials were saying the sanctions, new sanctions to come immediately. --anced secretary kerry advanced secretary kerry push the deadline past the weekend. if it a hard deadline? >> there was progress in a geneva yesterday. while geneva was a document to which all sides committed and a document with which their apostate commitment in it, what we have said it is not the words, but it is the actions. we'll be watching very carefully to see if the commitments that were made in a geneva which is honored would be -- if they are not, we have been very clear that we are ready along with our partners to impose additional cost. >> now that there have been
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costs, is that over the weekend? >> over the coming days. >> of the other thing i wanted to ask is there is a report in "the london times," that to the united states is looking to put sanctions on president putin's personal wealth. is the united states look at sanctioning the president of russia personally? >> i will not go into foreshadowing individuals that in the united states may target. we have been clear that there are additional individuals, close associates of senior leadership, and those entities that they are associated with that remain very much potential targets of additional sanctions. with also said there are other
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potential ways and the framework of our executive orders that we could impose cost should it be necessary. and in the event of a dramatic escalation or significant escalation, including the potential for russia to move its own forces on the border inside of ukraine, those costs and sanctions could include targeting very significant russian economy. beyond that, i am not going to be specific. >> are you saying given that one of the leaders of the progression forces has already projected the current ukrainian government is legitimate. are you said we hold moscow responsible for making sure these rubbles, progression forces leave the buildings they occupied? >> what we are saying is, we
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believe that russia has considerable influence over the actions of those who have been engaged in destabilizing activity in eastern ukraine. a russia has committed to use that influence to try to ds glade and diffuse the situation and that includes vacating the buildings -- and that includes diffusing the situation and vacating the buildings and cooperating with the monitors and other steps including public statements that was signal to de-escalate the situation. give us a better understanding of the conversation that have taken place is in regard to the confirmation of the jewish community and the report there were pamphlets, outrages as
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described by the secretary of state as grotesque and unacceptable. what the president's thoughts were and what did he and ministers has committed to doing -- and what the administration has committed to doing? >> the administration has expressed the discussed quite bluntly. we found the pamphlets to be sickening. they have no place in the 21st century. we have conveyed that. very forcefully to all concerned secretary kerry had in the conversation very plainly with foreign minister lavrov yesterday. the joint statement that was issued in geneva made reference to anti-semitism and other forms of bias to action precisely for that reason because we were so outraged and alarmed by the servicing of the pamphlets. tpp.u mentioned
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would you describe that in the context of the trip? and if you do not have any deliverables on that, make it less of a success? a some analysts are calling china containment to work, do you view that differently? tpp, we havect to made a great deal of progress over the past many months in arms of achieving ultimately comprehensive if, high standards regional trade agreement. we expect the president's travels and works in the coming weeks and months on tpp will continue to yield progress. we expect that as a result of that, we will be able to conclude an agreement. i think it is yet another opportunity to advance our opportunities and i believe our tpp partners view it as that way. in the run-up to the trip,
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progress has been made and we expected to continue. this remains a very important aspect of our rebalance to the asia-pacific region. one that holds great promise for the countries in the region as well as for the united states. there've been outside estimates that experts suggest that as $125.5 billion dollars in annual exports could accrue from a successful conclusion of the tpp and we will continue to work towards that. given its significance to all concerned. with respect to the trip and whether it ought to be viewed as containment of china, i would say this trip has a very positive, affirmative agenda and that is how we are looking at it. as an opportunity to solidify and modernize our alliances and partnerships as an opportunity to advance our agenda including
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tpp and international interest ourn opportunity to affirm commitment to the region and its security and show the united states will remain for the long-term, a major security stabilityd force for and democratic development. and also, an opportunity to deepen our people to people ties and relationships. hence, the young leaders fo rum which we are looking for two throughout president the region. it is a positive agenda that underscores the united states' commitment to the region is growing and the cornerstone of and it'sl engagement going to be there for the long term. >> you said repeatedly -- [indiscernible] ign in pro russian forces,
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have we see any signs of they are doing it? >> we will continue to watch very carefully to see what they do and say and how the monitors are allowed to operate when they deployed which will begin over the weekend. i do not take the statement of leader asual, a rebel definitive. i think over the coming days, will have the opportunity to see what russia can and will do to uphold its end of the agreement. whether you are considered sanctioning putin's assets? >> i was not named individual targets. >> you're going to say sectors are on the table? >> would've said from the outset and if you read the president's order, there our room for
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sanctions. >> wanted to knock down the idea -- >> i do not think it's asstructive as policymakers we make very complex and difficult situations to start into getting to name individuals on our sanctions list. if you know how sanctions enforcement work, it is counterproductive. >> china is looking carefully about how the president talk about the maritime disputes in the china sea. if you going to use the kind of language that angela merkel used that angered china somewhat? is thepresident -- president going to meet with anybody from the delegation? >> on territorial disputes, you will hear the president say what has been consistently you as policy which the disputes need
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to be resolved and ought to be resolved, not through coercion anythings, not through but peaceful, diplomatic means based on the rule of law. international law in particular and the land of the sea. that will continue to be our strong view that we have shared that in all of our engagements with concerned parties including the president had the opportunity to meet with the president xinping. with respect to your second question, i think the president is not a likely to have that meeting. >> you mentioned the u.s. -- allies, we have been there when they need us. does the administration feel it in the to reassure any worries from them about u.s. willingness to defend them in terms of
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aggression in the region? >> there should be no question, where we have alliance commitments and asia-pacific region or anywhere else in the world. will uphold those obligations willingly and definitively. [indiscernible] time go to the region at a when our allies in the region are very much appreciative of us and committed to our alliance relationships in these alliances are only strengthening in the context of more uncertain environment. >> can you inform us of any additional information on possibility of joint u.s. nato monitoring of the elections in the ukraine, got? >> nato does not do election
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monitoring. >> any form of monitoring that might be possible? >> i expect it the ukrainian government invite outside monitors that they may be forthcoming whether they invite them from nongovernmental organizations, individuals from the friendly states, the eu, it is their choice. nato is not an election monitoring or political organization. thank you 7:00 a.m., your calls and comments on "washington journal." >> whether it is an award for politicianlism, as a i declare an interest in not wanting to make a judgment on that. but an award for public service
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for possibly the greatest betrayal of our national secrets of all time strikes me as quite bazaar. re.bizar so i think there is a dangerous disconnect there. as for the "guardian" newspaper, my view was if i as an individual gave the name of operatives outside the u.k. jurisdiction that would be in breach of the terrorism act. why would that not apply to a newspaper? >> this weekend on c-span, former british defense secretary liam fox on edward snowden, government surveillance and privacy issues. saturday morning at 10:00 eastern. v," from texas, the
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san antonio book festival, including authors and panels on the stories that shaped san antonio. big brother, and democracy. saturday starting at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span two. on american history tv, tour the ma's national cryptologic useum. sunday at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. on c-span-3. georgetown university recently hosted discussion on efforts to help returning war veterans transition into civilian life. first, opening remarks by colonel, an executive director of the white house joining forces program. l including retired military veterans that help veterans find jobs. the georgetown center for public and nonprofit leadership hosted the two-hour event.
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good morning, everyone. i'm kathy. great. i love that. i hate it when you have to do that and say it again. everyone say good morning. thank you. i direct the center for public and nonprofit leadership. at georgetown university. on the half of us, welcome. we are thrilled that you are here. what we will focus today on and we think is incredibly important, we are focusing on talent and assets and leadership of our veterans and their families and what they can bring to our organizations and our communities. sets and what they
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offer to our communities. this is a very personal issue to me. since 2004, i've had the privilege of teaching more than 100 men and more than 100 me and women. active duty and veterans. officers and enlisted in all branches of the armed services. all of them did tours in iraq or afghanistan or both. if you don't mind, not to embarrass you, if you have been in my public leadership class or been in the nonprofit management certificate program, please raise your hands. thank you all for coming. why i asked you to do that is because for those of you who are here, when i said i taught you, it is actually a misnomer. when i say that i taught you and them, you all have taught me far more about the men and women in the service of our country than
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i could ever possibly teach you. i saw in you all the attributes of courage, respect, discipline, responsibility, compassion and collaboration. not to mention strategic thinking and ability to adapt. that is something that in the nonprofit sector we call multitasking. most of all, without exception, my military students demonstrated what you all know, the ethic of service. service for the public good. i see in you all and the others the qualities that i would want in my employees. community volunteers. public servants. business leaders. i want others to see what i see. i want returning veterans and heir families to recognize their service valued and needed here at home. we have here in our audience so many individuals in all sectors
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who share this goal. or example, we have the mayor, mayor of alexandria, we have the assistant secretary of labor, we have katherine crum. we have georgetown university's vice president of student affairs and many, many other dignitaries, so thank you so much. we are especially fortunate to have colonel rich morales. executive director of joining forces. he would like to welcome you all with special remarks and special note from the first lady. thank you, rich, for coming. [applause] >> good morning and thank you for the kind invite and for the mccourt school's leadership. it really is my privilege to be here today with you and i'm very grateful to be the early morning speaker, the lead-off batter.
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for those of you who were a little worried, the army guy is not running the ship. i'm just the warm-up act for the talent here. on behalf of dr. biden and mrs. obama, my bosses, we have commander carol lapointe here today. it is a pleasure to be here. with a group that i call the usual suspects and some others up here. people would often wonder, if you're meeting the same folks in different buildings, what is the value of talking to each other? that is not what happens. all of us have the ability to focus. at one point and the doctor said what we are here to talk about is the leadership capability of our returning veterans. we hope to be able to engage others in the conversation. that is really what i hope to do here today. talk about what is the framing idea of what we're here to
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o. this forum aligns exceptionally well with what we're trying to do with joining forces. some of you may know what joining forces is. some may not know. before i took this job, i fell in that latter half. here is what we do. we try work through what is it that the country can do by joining with the private sector and joining with groups like yours to help veterans reintegrate into society. to help military families and transitioning service members. we do it through one of three priority pillars, really, the first lady said we could try boil the ocean. we're not. we look at employment. we look at wellness and we look at education. all of these themes will be reflected today up here on this stage. but before i say much more and i do have a hook here, so i will not go over, i want to tell you a little bit more about the people that we're here to better support, the americans that we are committed to help.
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while i've had a little bit of a forrest gump career, some say i can't hold a job and they are probably right. back in 2009, i capped what was a long stretch of deployments into combat. i spend 1087 days in combat. 3-5 years in 14 month stretches. i got to see first hand the amazing talent that we have in the u.s. military. and i'll tell you about one of them. i could tell you about 10, but then i would go over. army specialist ramos. ramos was the person who i owe my life to at least three times. let me tell you one. he was assigned as my driver back in 2003 in iraq. he is a great human being. i almost asked the question why is that thing called r.p.g.? it is a rocket propelled grenade.
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we found out quickly why it was called r.p.g. we were in the triangle of death nd got blown up often. i'm not up here to tell you a war story. i'm here to tell you a veteran story. early one morning, we took a lot of fire. our windshields cracked and miraculously we all made it out and we did that lather, rinse, repeat every day. while that might be the enof the story that we survived a tough day, let me tell you the rest of this story. the night before that incident, a big, thick piece of bullet-proof glass came in. some of you may say that sounds like common sense. that could save your life. the reality is we have gone day after day after day with glass that is this thin. that's not what happened. young specialist ramos decided this is our job, this is our mission. his is what we do. they put that in and they are
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quick thinking. they were not waiting for some sergeant to tell them to do something. this is young leaders at the lowest possible level get things done. in this case it saved our lives. i think about specialist ramos when people have this notion that veterans when they transition out are somehow robotic waiting for somebody to tell them what to do and they are going to sit there until that happens. that is not the case. this guy the big, huge smile, he didn't think it was any big deal, saving my life for sure and saving his. he was just doing his job. i guess my point here is as we think through, i would challenge us all to think through what veterans bring not just to our organization what they bring to communities. for some of them, reintegration into the real world is tough. anyone who can do that and jump out of airplanes and withstand some of the pressures of military service you think would absolutely ready to
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reintegrate. they are. we want to make sure we understand their needs and make sure we capitalize on their talents. that was one quick story. i'm mindful of the hook. i want to tell you very quickly what i think are shining example s of what america has done to come together to support not only veterans but their families. on the employment front, i can rattle off companies and organizations. i'll talk about a few. there is the big iconic ones like wal-mart that said they would hire any veteran that walked in the door. the blackstone group that owns hilton and others has made tangible commitments. starbucks. 10,000 veterans really focusing on military spouses. i'll pause for a second. i think i was starting to get the hook. the criticism as well is our military spouses don't want to work at a coffee shop. sure they do. we want to provide them an opportunity to have a full spectrum of options where they can be employed. the fact that america's leading companies are making philanthropic committments is something that we applaud.
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i got a long list. please go on our website. i'll wrap up on the education and wellness front. one out of here in the audience today, it happens to be a big defense contractor, it sponsors a school at aberdeen. they went from being a medium performance school to one of the top performance schools in maryland. nd in the country through the math/science initiative. through this initiative it has gone from 20-70 and we hope 200 schools. it is partnered with k-12 schools to create better environments and outcomes for military children. 13 times pass rate for the a.p. exam, therefore more likely to go off to college. you say how does this relate to veterans? taking care of military veterans and their families is crucial to create those conditions and that environment for them to thrive as they reintegrate. that is done in partnership with the private sector. there are others on the wellness front.
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i know the american hospital association, we work with nurses, i speak with university presidents and company presidents . in short and i am short today you'll hear some of those specificities. want to close by saying i'm very fortunate to serve in the white house and i want to close with some remarks from my boss, who is currently in china. this is from the first lady. i'm pleased to send my warmest greetings to military veterans into our communities at home. as a nation, we owe a debt of gratitude to america's heroes. i believe each of us has role to play in supporting veterans and their families. that's why dr. jill biden and i started joining forces. a nationwide initiative that calls on all sectors of our
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society to mobilize and make real condominiums to support veterans and military families. every time i meet with military veterans and their families i'm in awe of their service and sacrifice to this country. west point classmate and great american. not only while they are in uniform but long after they have come home as well. i'm also in awe of their considerable talents and strengths those veterans bring home with them. we must capitalize upon these strengths as we focus on integration of our veterans from the communities of ours across the country. this is why it is so important our forums like today. the center for public and
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nonprofit leadership that you're hosting today so we can serve our veterans as well as they have served our country. thank you again for all you do for veterans and their families, and i wish you the best. michelle obama. thank you. >> a lot of you already know colonel morales, but we also put the bio for those of you that may not know him. when i talked about the talents f the folks that i med met and -- met and the major gifts i would say, what an influence, thank you for your leadership and your vision. before i go on, just a couple of hings, those of you in the -- for those of you who are interested, we have a hash tag,
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gu vet forum if that means anything to you. [laughter] so on with our program. we selected a moderator. introduce irene trowell harris, based on her exceptional compliments. her experience in many areas including the military, government, community, academia. i'm only going to highlight a few points. please read more about her. i think she is mazing. i had never met her before but i am glad i have now and i hope we'll be working together in future. she is the former director of the center for women's veterans. she served as a white house political appointee for two presidents.. rior to her appointment, she
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serve 38 years in the u.s. air force and the international guard, retiring as a major general in september 2001. i'm going to go on. she has done a variety of things which you can read about but i just want to say something that resonated with me. she holds a bachelor in health education from new jersey city university, a masters in public health administration from yale university and a doctorate in health education from teachers college columbia, university. she is a charter member of the women's memorial which we're all here now and december 13, 2013, she established the leadership fund at the american nurses oundation. we are tremendously form -- fortunate to have her lead us through this conversation. please welcome dr. harris. [applause]
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>> good morning. from nation building to community building, capitalizing on the strengths of our veterans here at home. as u.s. forces presence in afghanistan is reduced and the military is slowing down, increasing numbers of talented veterans and their families are returning to communities across he nation. communities that need the skills, creativity, leadership, that the veterans have to offer. the forum today has four goals. first, expand networks, relationships and information-sharing across sectors to better reconnect
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veterans and new leaders and communities through discussion. number two, change the narrative from a story focus on struggles to a focus of veteran stress and contributions. number three, share lessons and promising models and practices across sectors, nonprofit, private, public, from national o local levels, to improve veterans reintegration into communities and four, promote action by broadly disseminating promising models and best practices to organizations currently working and engaging veterans and their families and communities. this could benefit from the talent and skill skills that veterans have to offer. the results of this forum is the
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capitalization of veterans' strength, skills and ttributes. by reconnecting and reintegrating into the community. key points, veterans and military personnel possess a number of strengths and attributes including leadership, loyalty, respect, integrity, reliability and they are team players, problem solvers, they are organized and they are disciplined. mployees and companies can benefit by hiring these employees with their strengths and positive attributes. yes, there are challenges, however, that we can help our veterans deal with as a coordinated team effort. throughout this forum, another key point. keep in mind the contributions
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f our spouses. they do not wear the uniform, but they still served. this forum today brings together a renowned panel of national and local leaders, veterans and civilians, to discuss efforts underway across communities and sectors to reintegrate and engage veterans in the life and work of our communities. i will introduce the panels, tarting here with jim. jim, an air force veteran, is the president of the warrior project. jim has expert's in a program with a mission to enhance quality of life. this work capitalizes on the augusta region's ability to
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contribute to the warriors and their families. this work includes warriors currently serving veterans and amily members. ken, a navy veteran, chairman, ken has focused on several companies and nonprofits. he has found many including the e.d. warrior foundation and the retreat for veteran families in bluemont, virginia. ken's work is unique in that the foundation believes that families are an integral part of the veterans' healing and rehabilitation process and this strives to keep them together, the family and the military person together. next, debbie is a clinical psychologist, deputy director of
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research and policy for blue star families. a bie has expertise on variety of military mental health issues that impact veterans and military members. she has been successful in making policy changes and has unique understanding of the challenges military spouses face hen returning to work. and on the end, mr. ross, army veteran, senior director, hiring of heroes, u.s. chamber of commerce. ross has expertise in managing, hiring other heroes which includes hundreds of veterans and military spouses hiring fairs. he hiring 500,000 heroes
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campaign and the military spouse program. he is the founding director of service nation. an initiative that was launched with the support of first lady michelle obama and dr. jill biden. i encourage you to read the extended bios in your printed program. now we're going to have opening remarks from each panel member. each panelist will share his or her perspective on a couple of examples or ways in which the talents and skills of veterans are being used to contribute to our communities. especially health, through jobs, volunteerism, civil engagement and other initiatives. they will go in order. thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you very much. we're deviating from the schedule. we're going backwards. i'm happy to be here. thank you to georgetown university for having the vision to put this together. kathy for organizing it. greg, how are you doing? good seeing you, buddy. more important, i want to point out john simms up here in the front. john was a student of kathies and about six months ago started to make a bunch of phone calls and ask the questions and do the research, which i think is vitally important. he wanted to know who was out and that they were doing and how they were having an impact and how you could bring it all together.
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this conference, this discussion today is based on john's energy and focus so i want to thank him for that. i want to thank my panelists for being here. each one contributes a great deal to military and veterans in our community. it takes -- not everybody can do everything. maybe that is the takeaway. not everybody can do everything. one of us can do one thing but all of cuss do almost everything. in augusta, i'm from the augusta warrior project. in augusta, we focus on 13 counties. the focus is on outcomes. not just doing but outcomes. our must remembers are how many homeless veterans can we get permanently housed? not just housed but permanently housed. with a lower recidivism rate. how do you get veterans into jobs that turn into careers where they are happy and they are comfortable and they can earn a living wage to support their families. we look at education. we don't just look at education as attending school. we look at graduation rates. we look across our community and you have to understand.
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we're 13 counties. two of them are primarily urban. the other 11 are rural counties. rural counties in georgia and south carolina. so when you talk about a demographic, it is a pretty broad demographic. we have one of the largest army installations in the united states, fort gordon. it has the largest microsoft school believe it or not. outside seattle, washington. so there is a lot of talent, but you to find person who needs the help, number one, and you have to know who they are. you have to know who can provide the services and how you can connect them to those services and then you have to follow up. i think everyone out here, barbara, thanks for being here. i think everyone out here will agree, that if you find someone, a veteran, who is about to be homeless, that is not their only issue. if you only do homelessness, then you're not going to solve the problem. you're not going to solve the issue.
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you have to look to the strengths of the individual. what we do in augusta is we do it holistic. when we meet a veteran who comes in who says i missed my fourth month's rent which they would have come on their first month's rent but on their fourth month's rent, the question is why? is it a job? is it education? is it lack of financial knowledge and literacy? is it family relationships? what is it? because it is not that you can't pay your bill. the house is not the issue. there is a bigger issue. i will tell you that augusta, we have -- here is a fact. in augusta, georgia, we have more nonprofits per capita than any other city in the united states. and you think 46,000 nonprofits in a space big? we have more than any other city in united states. we can solve just about any issue that is a basic issue.
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housing, food, safety, access to healthcare, especially because of the healthcare that we have in the community. what we have difficulty with is what the national nonprofits that are here contribute to. it is the sustainment of that. the local nonprofit can take care of the basic needs, just like we do, just like every community does for citizens, not just veterans, but for citizens. veterans are citizens. they can take care of just about everything. it is when the national will comes in. it is the department of defense. it is the department of the v.a. it is the department of labor. i see operation homefront out here. those big nonprofits that come in and say i can help, i can partner with you, that is the key. that is the key to the success that we have at a community level is that we all have to work together. i came out of the department of
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defense. i was a planner. i worked major war plans. unified commands. there is a supporteded sync and a supporting sync. the sported sync is in charge. they are the ones who own the ground and what is going to happen with it. and then the supporting syncs bring all of those resources to them. then there is the big vision. this is no different. our view is the community is the supported sync. we got the boots on the ground and the eyes on the target. we know what we need and we know how to go after it but we don't have the resources to do it. i see the national groups, the folks watching on television and the folks who'll read in the paper. they are the supporting syncs. they need to come to the community and say how can i help you? when team rubicon comes into
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lorida and they do a cleanup job, i didn't want to find out about it after they left. i wanted to know when they came. because then i could have helped them by connecting them to my community resources. that is just one example. they did a great job of cleaning up everything. we've looked throughout the nation, you know, we're a model. augusta warrior product is not the model. we are a model. there is plenty of models to ollow. the focus needs to be on the military veteran and their family. what can you do for them and how can you move these resources together so that you're focused on that single point, not an organization, but the point is the single point is the veteran. we have been fortunate to partner with the wounded warrior project. it is mot in the bio. it is something that came out eight months ago. they have asked us to go to up
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to 30 other communities in the nation over the next five years and to help them through funding, mentorship and advice do the same thing that we have done at augusta and in doing that, our goal is to bring all of you who are up here in d.c. inside the belt way or off of manhattan together and focus on a single point, which may be charlton, which may be tacoma, washington, which may be the panhandle of florida. focus on those areas. that's where veterans have gone. they don't come to washington, d.c. i've lived here. i know that. they go home. for the most part, they go home. they live in alexandria, sorry. they go home. that's where we need to follow them. that's where we need to engage them. at home. i'm going to do one pitch also. we're having a symposium on the 15th and 16th of may in augusta, georgia. i'll have handouts here that we
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will put up in the beginning. hat we want to do is bringing community groups that don't have a clue what jim at operation homefront does. i want to bring operation homefront to augusta and i want to introduce him and say these guys can help you. i want to bring barbara. and say you have heard about it. now learn about it from the person who runs it. learn from that. the intent of this symposium isn't to throw information at you. it is for you to know who to go to this the community who can help directly to the warrior. so i'll provide that. let me just round it out. in augusta, over the last 18 months, we virtually eliminated homelessness. we went from 195 homeless veterans to six. we have a 90% graduation rate for veterans who we are engaged with in college. 90% graduation rate.
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we look to optimize their g.i. bill benefit. not just to spend it, to optimize it. so they graduate. in the last six months, we had 117 unemployed or underemployed veterans. we helped them get jobs. we didn't do it. we know the veteran and we know their outcome. we didn't do it. they went to hiring our heroes job fairs and all the other services, but believe it or not, that wasn't their only issue when they came back to the community. so we just brought the other solutions to them so that they could succeed. and that's really what we need to focus on is how do you bring everything together on a single point in time in a single person. that's how. thank you very much for you time. i look forward to your questions. [applause]
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>> good morning. thanks, jim. jim does have maybe the model program, by the way. but i can't believe you brought up an ice storm in georgia. [laughter] maybe -- first of all, kathy, john, louisa, for putting this together. i'm a graduate of georgetown and kathy's class. it is always great to see a university take the lead and i noticed several other universities in here doing great things for our veterans. thank you for allowing me to be here. a quick background how i got into this. i'm retired navy, master chief petty officer, e.o.d. guy.
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i retired in san diego late 2002 and started a small counterterrorism consulting company that i came back home for. i'm a washingtonian. i grew up in alexandria. i remember going through tap class and the lady that was giving us this job, reintegration training and how to tie your tie class. she said the average veteran has three to five jobs in the first three to five years they are out of the service. o i started thinking, why? and as i put this company together, i think what i came to know is that the change is fairly significant. we have a pretty structured life in the military. and it is not that way in the ivilian world. at least in most small companies. so i hired my first chief petty officer who got into the h.r. business when he retired
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from the navy. i said listen, we're going to put a company together that looks just like the military. we're going the pay on the first and the 15th and give them 30 days of leave. including the weekends, which you don't get in the military. they count against your leave. we're going to pay them better than they have ever been paid in the military and give them a mission. when i left the company, i sold the company and left the company, we had 500 employees. the first 300 of them, i sat through every single interview. there wasn't an employee in my country that i didn't sit at least for five minutes in this interview process. i'm not going to say i'm an expert in hiring veterans, but ve hired 500 and the company today has over 1,000. what i found is when i left the company, we hadn't lost one veteran. not one veteran that we had hired we had lost in our company. i say one, we fired. but the only people we were
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losing in our company were what i would call the traditional support personnel, the accounting staff and receptionist because maybe they can't not integrate with us, which was a little bit different. i can't say the same for all companies, because i think the average industry rate is about 15% to 20% of turnover. we didn't have that when i left this company. i think the reason is we tried to make this transition as smooth as possible. that doesn't happen in every case. in 2004, we had our first e.o.d. amputee. he called me and said listen, i can't be there. i know you're in d.c.. would you go to the hospital and meet this family? i said absolutely. we would be honored to. julie and i went to the hospital and laying in bed was an amputee, the first one that i had ever seen and i had been in
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combat myself and just never seen that kind of destruction although i had seen it in the landmine community landmine survivors, and it was the first e.o.d. person that i had seen and i said to him where is your family and he said they can't afford plane tickets to get here. they are driving and they are trying to get the dogs in the kennel and they will be here. they are in kentucky and they will be here in a couple of days. so i broke my wallet out and got my cell phone out and we got his mother out to his bedside. he was not married. he was a young soldier. i thought truthfully because i was in the first gulf war that this would be the first and last time i would do that. i thought it would be over in six months. we did it 11 more times that year and 15 times after before we started the small foundation, the wounded e.o.d. warrior foundation. i got to know about 227 or so severely wounded amputees,
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blinesd, burns, paralysis, personnel very closely over the last few years. the last 12 years now. we continue to try do things in this foundation we're taking care of the wounded and we had of ld legacy to take care our in moirl in florida. last year we merged because of the nonprofit space resources are very, very tight. so we merged these two e.o.d. foundations together to what is called the warrior foundation. we have a few missions. one of them is emergency financial relief. a lot of our military lives in poverty, especially in the unenlisted ranks. in again, when i left my -- in 2010, when i left my company, it just happened to be worst year n afghanistan. we we noticed how important it
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was for families to get away from the hospital. barbecues. we had one dad stay with us for a week and do some deer hunting and just really saw the healing occurring. healing is important because it is hard to transition if you're in pain. so we saw what was happening and then we figured, well, what can we do to make better or do more? we have 200 acres worth of land ures and wet was past never did anything with it. we thought why not donate this for people who need a break. i have a marine triple amputee who that is been there 3 1/2 years and 74 surgeries. this is a long, long time. when you're in the hospital for a year, you're eating hospital food for a year.
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getting julie's cooking is a good thing as you can tell from my figure. we built the special cabins for the special op snnch the community. we need to open this up to any and all wounded warriors and their families and we did that in 2010 and built a beautiful retreat that is an hour from here with four cabins, a big lodge and a lot of good, nontraditional healing although one of our lead therapists is in the audience and she will tell you what we call nontraditional is actually very traditional. the pharmaceutical companies have a lot more money than yogis. what i learned in the transition of veterans, and i think it is a narrate avive that has got -- narrative that has got to be discussed here. when i was running this business, i came from a long
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line of entrepreneurs but i had never run a business before. i the executive course at harvard. one of the things that is going on in the veteran community is skill-based training although a lot of our veterans bring great skills out. we heard it from jim and the fact that there are a lot of skills that veterans have that are not necessarily volkswagenal in nature. leadership -- vocational, leadership. as you think about what a veteran brings your organization, think hard about this training for skills. we can spend a little money on skill training but you can't fix the attitudes very easily. the last thing i want to say is there is a way ahead narrative for this community. when you say the 1% in this country, everybody immediately starts thinking about the 1% of
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wealth. and i'm telling you now that money doesn't make you happy. it solves a few problems. pays the bills, but it doesn't make you happy. 1% of our nation serves this country. when you think of 1%, that's what you need to think about. this is the 1% that will come home and change the nation. they will run the best companies in the world. they will run the best nonprofits in the world and i guarantee you, they will be your best employees. but you got to give them a chance. you got to make the integration and reintegration back into society as fair as you can. what we do at boulder crest retreat and the e.o.d. warrior foundation. we have families from across this nation staying with us going through therapeutic healing. you have to be healthy to reincorporate great. that's what we hope to be able to do is offer those kind of services.
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when i was in kathy's class, probably the best definition of leadership is the definition of a leader is somebody who can get people to places they would not normally get on their own. i think that is what veterans do. that's what military warriors do every day on the battlefield. thank you. i look forward to your questions and have a great day. [applause] >> wow. this is tall. i need to adjust a little bit. i wanted to echo the panel's comments. thank you all for having me today. i really appreciate the mccourt school and kathy and john for having this panel. i'm really pleased because i'm
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here to represent military families. and i come from a military family myself. i'm going on 19 years as a military spouse so this has been a journey and i ended up here accidentally. i told some of you a story earlier this week, some of you have already heard this. when i married my husband, we went out on a blind date and i saw his i.d. card. i thought his name is ensign? why would anyone name their child ensign? so wonder he goes by herb. [laughter] this is not where i expected to end up. i didn't know anything about the married him i obviously. i'm very pleased to be here. i came from an academic family. a school like georgetown having
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a panel like this, an esteemed school like georgetown having a panel like this is meaningful to me permanently. it means the country is taking interest in this. having all of you here in the room talking about veterans but also talking about military familys is extremely important . even 10 years ago, military families were not part of the narrative. i'm going to call rich out in joining forces because their leadership at the highest level has brought military families into this conversation. so i had a speech written up. i was going to say i'm going to talk about something a little bit different than our other guests are going to talk about today. i was going to talk about military families. i didn't expect everybody to bring up families today. i'm really, really pleased about that. i'm going to go a little bit rogue and stray from the speech that i had set up because some of our other panelists covered
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it so well. but what i want to say and what i want you all to walk away with today is that when you think about veterans and service members, they all have families. you cannot think about veterans and service members and isolation. i think somebody used the word holistic. we want to think about veterans and service members holistically. part of the strength of military veterans and service members are their families. we talk about veterans and service members as being civic assets. well, their families are civic assets too. military and family members volunteer at a very high rate. been blue star families alone we had over 2,500 volunteer hours last year. our service -- excuse me, our organization is a volunteer-run organization. that is just that organization. this is happening all over the country.
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military family members volunteer in their community. they help their neighbors. one of the things that we do at blue star families is an annual survey and we find when we compare to civilian rate s of volunteerism, military rates are higher and that is what makes them such great community members. we want those people in the communities so when we see a disaster happening, military families are going out to help. service members are going out to help. we don't highlight that enough. so that is part of the narrative. somebody mentioned veterans and military families are citizens. that's part of narrative that we want to change. they are not separate from the citizenry of the united states. they are part of. i and so a lot of times, i think we talk about the military civilian divide. i think we as the military ommunity have wanted the
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civilian count in include us more and learn more about us. many of us were reading recently, i think the conversation has turned because america at large is sort of losing interest in the military because the wars are winding down. we're starting to downsize. military service has been in the media a lot. people are starting to lose interest and we have traditionally wanted the civilian community to reach out to us. i think it is time for us to start reach out to the community and highlighting our strengths i think a lot of people have talked about we need to change the conversation because the stories we hear are about poor military families. they all have ptsd. they are not getting jobs. and that is part of the narrative. we don't want to dismiss that. but another part of the narrative is that they bring strength to their community. they are great leaders.
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they are -- they volunteer at high rates. they have leadership. we want them in government. we want them at the highest levels in our corporations and voss going to talk about that in a minute. we also want to think about the military spouse. and the military family member. one thing i want to highlight is we talk about the military civilian divide and the strength that families can bring. we have about 80% of our military children are in schools out in the community. one of the greatest things that we can do to bridge that divide is having those kids there and also have military service members and their family members teaching in those schools. so that there can be an interface. the same thing happens on college campuses. the benefits that military service members and their families receive through g.i. bill helps those families and he veterans on college campuseses. those two communities are
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connecting and having a dialogue and those strengths can be pronounced in an environment like that. that happens on -- at the lowest levels with our kids in schools. i don't think that is a point that comes out enough. i want to bring that up. the other thing, and i know ross will touch on this as well. military spouses have challenges related to employment. they are employed -- their unemployment rate is about 26%. so when talk about hiring initiatives, we also want to include military spouses in those initiatives. military spouses have the same kind of strengths that veterans bring to the workplace. they have leadership skills. they have commun communication skills. they are used to moving around. they are flexible and adaptable and they can enter a group very easily because they are used to doing that. military families move every two
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to three years. so they are used to integrating into new communities and those are assets when they go into the workplace. we want employers to see that. so we have partnered with the chamber of commerce and highlighted some of those issues. we're doing a lot of that work at blue star families and a partnership with the chamber of commerce because we want to highlight those strengths. excuse me. i'm losing my voice. so those are some of the best practices i want to bring out today. a lot of those are being represented here. thank you. excuse me. i'm coming down with a touch of a cold. excuse me a moment. so i'm very pleased that all of these organizations are integrating families, and again, what i want you to leave with here today is that every time you hear a service member and
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every time you hear veteran, i want you to think military family. we cannot think of them in isolation. when we think about veterans and -- excuse me, service members and their transition process, their families transition with them. so if we want to make a successful transition out of service, we need to think about what's happening to those families at the same time. so again, holistic in terms of best practices. so that's what i want to li you with today. [applause] >> good morning. my name is ross cohen. i'm the last if the lineup of speakers. i promise to keep my remarks as short as i can so we can get to the questions and the
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discussion. dr. to say thank you to harris, secretary kelly, and all the other folks who are here. it is a great group. and i think there is a reason why hiring our heroes in blue star works so well together. a couple of -- just to comment on a couple of things they heard. one in the opening remark business dr. harris. one of the goals today is changing narrative. we heard a couple of folks talk about it. that is really a big part of what the chamber tries to do. so quick, quick 30,000 foot view of what we do, hiring our heroes. we are a program -- the u.s. chamber of commerce is the world's largest business federation that represents the interest of the business community large and small here in washington and around the world.
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and we at hiring our heros are part of the u.s. chamber of commerce foundation. now program -- the program began, an we talk about this a lot. mr. donahue was traveling around the country and traveling around the world meeting with coast. the conversation would oftentimes come around to the military and he would hear from c.e.o.s and chamber executives, i want to hire the military and veterans and military spouses. i don't know how to do that. so the chamber began this program not as a charity but the chamber represents the business community and we started this program not as a charity but as a service to the business community. technically for the purpose of any lawyers in the room or financing the charity, so please don't tell our -- [laughter] what we have really seen in the last three years. the program started three years ago this week with a simple job
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fair working with the department of labor vets and the chicagoland chamber in chicago, is -- this is not a hard sell. for all the reasons people have talked about it, i'm not going to go into that. i had the privilege of serving in the u.s. army and was deployed to afghanistan. for all the reasons that everyone who is on this panel and has spoken today knows this is not a hard sell to businesses. businesses wants to hire veterans and military spouses. they want to do it temptly and they are understanding which not always an easy thing. -- intelligently. hen i was asked why didn't you go in as an officer? i didn't know the difference. [laughter] there is a difference. i didn't come from a military
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family. i didn't understand the military until i had been in it. just like any culture. fire fighting, engineers, mechanics, if you don't know that culture, you are not going to be able to understand it. what really excites me and i think to the topic of relating to jim's points about partnership, what i'm excited about, and a few folks have heard me talk about this before. we are not just talking to ourselves in the same room. yes, a lot of conversations happen but it has been a series of concentric and growing circles with a huge hat tip to the first lady and dr. biden, but in the past several years and going back, obviously there have been folks doing this like has been doing it for a hundred years. it is happening. the progress we need to see is happening. we're not there yet but you four the clinton s,
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global initiative, the george w bush initiative, the joining forces effort who are all actively engaged in this spase space. you have the business community actively involved in this space. mental health involved. the entertainment community through got your six. you more and more sectors of the country figure ought how they can get engaged and what they can do and be smart about it. it is not easy. if they are going to come to augusta, they are going to want to do the right thing and get there as quickly as possible. i think we're getting better at communicating with each other to accomplish the objectives and that we're not spinning our wheels. i think the department of labor released a report yesterday about veteran unemployment. it continues to get better. down from 9.9% last yore to 9%.
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i think it is 6.6 which is down from 7. a lot of work to do, but it is geltzing better. i think the more conversations that we have like this, we take back to our communities, bring more folks back into the space and continue to drive forward and make progress together. it is very exciting. i heard the secretary in the don't labor say this is the only thing he sees in d.c. where everyone is on the same page. the question is tactics and how do we get there. to e is a union timity of succeed and this great generation an their families to nation build and make america a much richer place with their experience. thank you. [applause]
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>> i thank panel members for this great presentation. you can see some of their expertise. what we're going to do now is ask the panel members some general questions. the next thing i'm going to do is ask them some specific questions. the first question, how do you everage and share national resources to support communities in veteran and family reintegration. using those national resources, ulling together but as a team. >> so, can i take that one? >> yes. >> ok. from the community level, as you saw on my bio, i worked at special operations command and
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then i worked up here for the chairman. so i got the view from sort of an operational level and then to a strategic level, my wife, who is a military spouse or who is a military spouse, but she is also military, retired, so i'm a military spouse too. she got sick and had to leave the military. because i was traveling so much, i had to -- we -- she moved home so that her parents could take care of her. and so anyway, we moved back to augusta and then i got the chance to work at this really small community level, rural, the augusta warrior project. so i knew what was up here. and i knew what was needed down here. at the local level. and so i was in a distinct advantage from other community programs who don't have the experience to know all that is available in washington, d.c. and can pick up the phone and
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call somebody at the v.a. because you have been working with them for the last four years. right? and so when i looked at it and said -- so i started to reach out to my friends and said then i went to greenville, south carolina. they did not have that perspective. they were struggling to provide services within the means of their local community. i sit here is my rolodex, call this guy. call them. how do you do it? it is very difficult for those national organizations and rural agencies --federal agencies. you cannot possibly know who is in the community. there are little turtles. this guy's name is turtle. in myrtle beach, south carolina. he does a great job. he has no clue who you are and
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he has no clue who you are. but there needs to be a nexus. that is what i see is missing. a clearinghouse. i do not want to call 8 people in the va or dod to file a form. that amount of time that it takes me to do that is time away from helping somebody with boots on the ground. i want one the phone number of somebody who understands 2 a.m., need, io -- what i want one touchpoint to act as the va. i will consolidate the community. how do you do it? it is difficult. it is not what you know, it is who you know. >> i think the clearinghouse
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idea is the key point. for veterans who return to school, what should a higher education institutions do to help veterans learn, reintegrate, and succeed? >> i will address that. we want to talk about veterans and military families. thathing i want to add is the g.i. bill is a transferable benefit. they can transfer those benefits to their families. have gaps in their resume. they may be professionals, for example. and go for years without working. they need to return to work.
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when that servicemember is transitioning from service, having that spouse have an education and a career helps the veteran to transition. that is the first thing i want to say. having those veterans on a andus changes the discourse allows the conversation to happen that would not otherwise happen. first off, having veterans and servicemembers on campus is an important part of changing the narrative. at a cocktail party, those conversations do not happen. they happen in an academic environment often. schools can support those veterans by having student veteran organizations, by integrating services in their counseling centers, by publishing articles in journals that academics read. there is an awareness that we
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have veterans and military families on campus. i come from an academic family. there is not a lot of awareness that these folks exist. thank you. sorry, i just have a comment. chance tond, i had a -- veterans group about initiatives they are organizing. this is a larger point. i applaud the panel for really challenges htthe and problems. what we need to fight for are
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the people in the middle. the ones who do not understand what they want them to do. to hiring managers do not hire for attitude and training for skill. the colleges, a lot of times, these standards to get in are preventing the better -- v eterans. i propose we look at the veterans in a different way to set them up for success. > thank you all. thank you very much. my next question is -- as the military begins to draw down and increase veterans returning home, what is the most do totant thing we must reconnect veterans and families? i will address that.
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i think it has been touched upon a little bit by earlier remarks. i think you're really is alternately -- ultimately, ceo intent, down to the hiring manager. my expertise is in the employment sector of been some of the other categories. it is an issue of communications. you talk about the 1% who have served and developed extraordinary skills. of families who have served beside them. there are two pieces to this. one is the hiring managers and employers. the country needs to try to understand and i think that they are. how does that affect me? if i am a hiring manager and i'm
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told something by a.c.l. -- a ceo and i have to fill slots very quickly. i am stuck between a rock and a hard place. one thing we focused on was trying to talk to veterans. i will talk about that in a second. they communicate their skills to employers. we need to talk to the employer strictly as well and create tools that are geared toward employers and recruiters. and the lines men and women who are making decisions --to say these are what you should be looking for. these are people you could talk to. it is communication on the side of employers and the country at large. they have to put their hand out
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half way. we have posted close to 700 job well over 20,000 men and women have been hired. the reason we're doing more programs -- you walk into a job fair and it would say iraq 2006 on the resume. whichteran did not know, is understandable. the veteran has to understand that people will say we support the troops, but they have an obligation themselves. they have to know how to talk about themselves. we realizer side, and we are launching a new initiative with camp pendleton next week -- toolkit directed to military spouses. a spouse may have a resume with years of gaps in work.
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it looks like a hodgepodge, that they have done incredible work. debbie can talk about this more eloquently than i can. translating volunteer skills to resume points. working closely with blue star families -- toyota has a service for all jobseekers. creating a way to military spouses can think about their own service in a way that employers will understand. the biggest thing we can do is make sure that the skills developed over the past decade plus are understood by the country and by those who developed the skills. it is not enough for one side to think they understand. >> if i could -- from a community level, when i moved throughout the military.
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you talked about transitioning. when i moved over 23 years, when i pcs'ed, i always had a sponsor. military, that was the last time i had a sponsor. there was no community that said if you're coming back, give me a call and i will sell you where to get your hair cut, car fixed, where to get a job -- all these things were you always had a sponsor. your kids want to go to this type of school, do not live there. if you want this kind of job, live over here. that does not exist on the other side of the 214. we have toaying is, figure out how to empower communities to develop programs that can integrate everything that we're doing here and bring
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it all together as one. not a competition of national nonprofits. it has to be at the community level. the second day i want to point out -- the biggest employer in the united states is small business. small business is in the small communities. they do not necessarily hire -- they hire on a reputation. is important to build her petition with local communities. we get job offers from our local businesses. bridgestone.e -- the mom and dad store down the street, which is not part of the larger group. they are just looking for an employee. a reliable employee. for will say i am looking an employee and we will send
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them five people who meet their standards. it is about relationships. you have to know who the customer is and who the veteran is. you have to connect the two. all the community is is a rocher. those who have a need and those who can fill that need. is,he last general question how do we reinforce the narrative for better strength in community leaders? the change in narrative system never easy. ross mentioned. your six. -- got your six.
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this whole concept of maybe going the wrong way in terms of creating a narrative where people feel sorry for veterans. i think that is dangerous in a lot of ways. stuffis a lot of great going on in the country. making sure that happens. small, ruralut america. i am in western loudoun county. it is the richest county in the united states in very populated. 15 marines just put and soldiers through the sheriffs academy and hired them. i would consider him to be a community leader. i also consider places like new york and l.a. and washington, d.c. immunities. the only nonmilitary family and our whole community in mount vernon. changing the narrative is hard.
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it needs help from hollywood and documentaries. i do not think we have done a great job yet of telling a positive side of the story. i think we can tell you -- continue to tell the oh woe is me story. that is not good enough. it just keeps going down. i look at the war winding down and it always concerns me. how do you change so that the one percent is really the one percent? because, i have a quote on my e-mail that i cannot quote because i cannot read it right now. it is something about george washington said that the next generation of four fighters are dependent on how we treat the future of the previous generation. in mount vernon, virginia. everyone was a vietnam vet. military officers did not wear uniforms to the pentagon.
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i read every single paper delivered. i can remember that the vets were being spent on. we have not done that this generation. we have treated them very well. is make we have to do sure we do not create a pity party and change that narrative through a storytelling process of how great this generation will be. otherwise, we will sit here and talk about a draft. >> thank you. now each panel member will have a specific question. then you will move quickly. we want to save time for the audience to ask questions. jim.irst question is for there is a lot of information for military veterans and families, who are transitioning to civilian life, from your perspective -- what are the great opportunities for a
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community to assist military and veterans and their families in transition? >> i think i have answered the question a couple of times in my response to the previous questions. but, how can a community assist? you can only help those that you know. it is important to know who the veteran or the warrior is. they need to know who you are. at a local community level, we are trying to get the word out. we signed an moa that is phenomenal. the garrison commander came to me and said, you own the community and i own the post. we need to figure out how to bridge that, so you can get on post and i can get in the community. to assist theoa garrison at fort gordon with
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transition services for all military veterans and families to come off post. that in itself is huge. the other partnership is the va. i do not have a community partner stronger than the va. to the group and did this question and answer thing. who are your strongest community partners? every one of my team members said the va. the other group did not put them on the list. doesu think that the va not bring some to the table, you are mistaken. one other thing. we talk about nonprofits. their businesses. we are businesses. when you talk to a community, you have to speak in terms of business. what you're doing is huge. it resonates. emotions only go so far.
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the emotions and the commitment wane in thewill next few years. what we point out to leaders and businesses, is the economic impact of veteran has on the community. we look at 100 veterans ringing in $2.8 million in f ederal funds. why would a new have a veterans program? it is good business. why wouldn't you do this? it is important to educate and partner. you have to look at it from a perspective that resonates in the community. the community is led by this mess. -- business. colleges and universities are businesses. if we could figure out a way ps leaving a- troo
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camp pendleton and coming back to georgia where the community we are partnering with -- if we can figure out a way that that person knows they have a sponsor and a person to touch in the community, those will start to trickle across the country. >> thank you. i think you may have mentioned this. how do we tap into and capture the scale of the veterans? >> the way you have to do is know who the veteran is. you cannot assess their skill and ability if you do not know who they are. if they hide out in their house, you will never know who they are. so, in terms of skills, there are a lot of things that translate. every university has a different criteria. i like what we did in south carolina.
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there was a language requirement at the local college. you had to take two years of language. these guys were coming out of the linguist school, speaking in russian and farsi. they did not offer those classes at the school. you have to take two years of spanish. we said wait a minute -- went back to the state level, how did we translated? themtates and we will take scoring this. is the federal government is paying them, that is good enough. >> now question is for kim. hat,ng on your nonprofit what would you like nonprofit ceo's to know about the contribution that veterans can make to their organization as employees, board members, and volunteers? story.stole my
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nonprofits are businesses. for profitof the world. if there is one thing that is missing -- i hate the word charity. is dangerous. -- it is dangerous. charity and panhandlers -- that is charity. nonprofits are businesses. dell commuters cannot build a computer without other partners. in the nonprofit world, we see this leadership that says, i have a group of donors. i will get protective of my resources and not share them with you. i will not partner with you. a lot of times the big difference in the nonprofit world and the for profit world
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if we do not look at our employees as resources in the same way. that is what is missing. i do not separate nonprofit from for profit. one is people with great attitudes and people who want to work hard and people who do not mind getting up the 5:00 of the morning and do not mind working at 11:00. they have slept under tanks and in the mud. they have carried bloody bodies. it is fairly easy at 11:00 to get another cup of coffee and write a proposal. nobody is shooting at you. that is what employers want, whether for profit or nonprofit. >> next question is for debbie. wise military spouse employment important right now? >> a couple of different reasons. right now, if you look at the
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statistics, 27% of all separations from the military are in voluntary. folks in service right now who thought they would have a career in military will find themselves as veterans. it might happen unexpectedly. if they don't have a job, and their spouse does not have a job, it will be hard to make a successful transition. that spells having employment or having an opportunity for makesment with education it a more successful transition for the entire family. military, 17% of military service members retire with a full pension. you either stay in for 20 years and get your full pension -- most people do not do that. they leave service and they do
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not have a retirement comparable to what you have in the civilian world. vested in a retirement plan. if the spouse is not working, they do not have a retirement plan either. the family's overall financial picture is impacted fairly drastically if the spouse does not have a job. militaryack on ross, spouses may have gaps in their employment, but often they volunteer at significant rates. they areose periods, developing skills. they often do not put those on the resume. that impacts whether they are hirable or not. their skills, they do not even realize they have them.
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if you have manage and oversee his move, you have done logistics. if you have broken your husband's tv during deployment and told him, you have done pr. but saying that jokingly, there are skills that happen during the course of the military career. military spouses do not even realize they have had them. they manage large organizations with diverse populations or manage a budget, doing a newsletter. p's,ging bip is, -- vi dealing with security. those are all skills they can bring into the workforce and they do not know to put them on the resume. one of the things that we do is to try to tell spouses that they can do that. that is an option. also, to give them the confidence to go into it to interview andn
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say i have the skills, even though i was not paid. >> my last question is to ross. as budget constraints spur the military to work more closely with the private sector regarding transition assistance, the messages we hear are often directed toward employers and governmental agencies. which responsibilities fall upon spouseemember or military when searching for employment? >> so, because i touched on it a in terms of the responsibility that spouses have, i will answer the question a little differently. as budgets are being constrained and sequester is hitting the community a lot more intensely than others, i do see this. that nonprofit mentality.
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this is a huge opportunity. the subsidy is the mother of invention here as budgets are being slashed. not always in the most rational way. what we are seeing is extraordinary leaps and bounds in the public, private, and nonprofit collaboration. i will give a quick example and a quick plug, then wrap it up. about a month ago, for bliss, texas, there was this coming together of va, department of labor, army and soldier for life. blisshamber, fort installation command, what all that means is that all these folks who have had their own rice bowl and jealously protected their budget and
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programs, saying there is no way we can do it that way. what happened was a two-day summit. they focus on employers and giving them the education they needed, from all of those resources, national and local working together. day two was the job fair. every soldier who is 90 days out or any transition unit, had to go. they will not necessarily get jobs from the job fair, that they may walk up to an employer and have their head spin around. i need to get ready. in addition, you had the department of labor talking about jobs. you had the va coming to a community event and registering 600 people for career counseling benefits in one day. that was twice as many as happened in all of el paso the year before. you are seeing this coming
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together, sharing of resources -- as we face these constraints, that will be more central. the plug is april 9 -- that will be the next step. the chamber is being supported by capital one and the wizards at the verizon center. there is a full day job fair, career summit, military spouse networking session. game,ight, the wizards thanks to the generosity of those folks -- giving away tickets to veterans and military members. the employment pieces key there. we encourage you, if you are a rheroes.org,ingou and please come by. some of us do live in d.c., and happily so.
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this is actually coming far out for me, to virginia. >> thank you. now for the fun part. we will open up the event to people from the audience. there are two mics. if you would just stand and ask your question. try to make it to the point if possible, because we want to get to as many people as we can. we will alternate from side to side here. >> yes. i just recently retired -- good times. just a general question for the panelists. as of the things i learned we started to talk about major companies and corporations doing things for the military -- there is an organization, microsoft,ho

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